If you want to really experience the Old West and see one of the wonders of the world, I have a trip for you. In Williams, Arizona you will find a 1908 railroad depot that is still operating today. Once you begin looking around the Williams Depot, you will discover a free railroad museum, a gift shop and the action of a live Wild West shoot-out.
These activities will get you in the mood to purchase a ticket aboard the railroad to the Grand Canyon. You have several choices for your trip. The Coach Class seating is in a restored 1923 Harriman coach. The seats face each other, so you can share the experience with other travelers. You will receive a Grand Canyon Railway Coca-Cola bottle as a memento of your trip. The Club Class offers its travelers the features of Coach Class seating. Here alcoholic beverages are served from a gorgeous mahogany bar. The Club Class also has coffee and pastries during the morning trip. First Class seating is very impressive. You will lounge in a comfortable recliner while being attended to by the staff. A continental breakfast is served during the morning passage. In the afternoon, travelers are served appetizers and champagne. The Deluxe Observation Class offers travelers the opportunity to go up on top of the car. This Observation Class gives sweeping views of the land being crossed. You will take the trip to the Canyon in a glass-covered area seeing things in a whole new perspective. The Luxury Parlor Car is the finest place to travel to the Grand Canyon on the railroad. Here you will ride in the rear car with a open air platform for more terrific views. This car hosts a continental breakfast, coffee, tea and juice during the morning trip. In the afternoon, travelers will taste champagne and appetizers. This is true western luxury.
The trip itself to the Grand Canyon is a beautiful one. You will see spectacular views. The railroad goes through pine forests, plains and miniature canyons. The path through the Northern Arizona country is 65 miles long and lasts about 2 hours. If the view isn’t enough, the railroad provides musicians and western characters to liven up the place.
Once arriving at the Grand Canyon you will have two choices. You may spend your time sightseeing on a narrated motorcoach tour or walk the area yourself. Make sure you use your three and a half hour stay at the Grand Canyon wisely. I suggest on the trip up to the Canyon to start making your plans.
I will tell you though, you will have a terrific day riding the railway and seeing the Grand Canyon. This experience will be one that you will always remember.
The Williams Depot is located in Williams, Arizona (northern Arizona, near Flagstaff). You can get to Williams by taking Interstate 40 to Exit 163. Then follow Grand Canyon Boulevard a half a mile south to the Depot.
The Williams Depot is open daily, except December 24 and 25. The turn of the century steam engines operate from Memorial Day through September. The vintage diesel locomotives pull the train the remainder of the year. Passengers are to check in at the ticket counter by 8:00 am. The railway departs Williams at 9:30 am and arrives at the Grand Canyon at 11:45 am. The return trip back to Williams leaves the Grand Canyon at 3:15 pm and arrives in Williams at 5:30 pm.
The fares for the Grand Canyon Railway is as follows: Coach Class: adults $49.95, children (16 and under) $24.95, Club Class: upgrade from Coach add $20.00 per person, First Class: upgrade from Coach add $50.00 per person, Deluxe Observation Class: upgrade from Coach add $70.00 per person (No children 10 and under are permitted in this class), Luxury Parlor Car: upgrade from Coach add $70.00 per person. There is tax and a National Park entry fee.
The Grand Canyon Railways does have packages that can be a real deal. Some packages include a night stay at the Fray Marcos Hotel in Williams and/or a night stay at a hotel at the Grand Canyon or meals. Be sure to check in on these packages before making your plans to visit. I will promise you will love your trip to the Grand Canyon!